NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Proponents of legalized online gambling have had two major victories this month: the first with Nevada issuing the first online poker licence, and the second with Judge Jack Weinstein ruling that poker is a game of skill.
This has sparked fresh debate over the state legalization and regulation of internet-based casino and poker games, which had already gathered momentum following the December 23rd Wire Act reversal by the Department of Justice, freeing individual states to allow online gambling.
"These are very exciting times for the online casino world," John Casey, PR director at Casino.org explained. "We are seeing a strong movement towards giving American players the choice to gamble when and where they want. This is, after all, supposed to be the land of the free."
Nevada has just stepped up to the plate and made the bold move of becoming the first US state to allow private companies to offer online poker to players within state lines. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the state’s first interactive gambling operator’s license to South Point Poker LLC this August.
Then the online gambling world made another step towards regulation when Jack Weinstein, a federal judge in Brooklyn, ruled on a case involving an underground poker club. He tossed the case out, saying that poker is more of a skill game than a game of chance. Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas said in a statement that the ruling was "...a major victory for the game of poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy playing it."
"At Casino.org we agree wholeheartedly with John Pappas' statement," Mr Casey said. "Not only are the US states throwing away a great revenue opportunity by not licensing, but it also brings solid regulation into an industry that has lived in a grey area for many years."
Experts estimate that American poker players were spending over $26 billion a year before federal regulators shut down the three largest online poker operators. Now, particularly in cash-strapped states like California and Delaware, lawmakers are examining the changing environment in Nevada, and are looking into the potential tax revenues that would be gained by legalization and state regulation.
Online gambling industry analyst, Casino.org recently published this infographic, which details the potential income that would accompany a regulated online gambling scenario.
"If all 50 states were to follow Nevada’s example, that the US could theoretically see an additional $80 billion a year in tax revenues – enough to wipe out California’s state debt three times over,” Mr Casey stated. "That money could be used to do a lot of good in America."
According to a recent report by the Brookings Institute, US states are projected to see a nationwide deficit of over $400 billion, which will leave many of them looking for new sources of revenue. The potential income of a well-regulated system for online gambling could prove to be too lucrative to ignore.
Launched in 1995, Casino.org was originally founded as an online gaming portal and industry analysis hub to provide easily accessible information about regional casino information, deposit methods and software information. Today, Casino.org sets the industry standard for all information concerning casino regulation and play on the Internet.